Posts Tagged ‘Soldiers’

The Price of Unending War – Part 2

September 15, 2010


Continuing the discussion on The Price of Unending War,  I thought I would pass along to you a link to an article by Bruce E. Levine,  How Psychologists Profit on Unending U.S. Wars, which is featured on the website Counterpunch,  that explains the Army’s approach to the psychological training of soldiers.

It reveals, for one thing, that one in six soldiers is on a psychiatric drug, and questions the advisability of teaching the “positive thinking” approach.  You can read it by going to this link.

A Soldier Comments on How My Lai Affects Today’s Army

April 27, 2010

This is one of the many interesting comments that have been made about  the post  An Emotional William Calley Says he is SorryI am printing it as a post, not only because it is well written, but because  of the author’s explanation of how he believes My Lai has affected  today’s Army’s efforts to make sure that American soldiers know that incidents like My Lai are “not acceptable and will never be acceptable.”  The comment was written anonymously, but I checked with an Army spokesman at Fort Benning, and he confirmed that such classes are conducted. He says that while it is not required specifically that My Lai be mentioned,  it certainly can be, and it is reasonable to assume that it was in the case of the writer who identifies himself as a soldier. 

First off, I was NOT in Vietnam but I have been to Afghanistan twice now.

The bottom line is this man is showing remorse, whether real or fake, at least he is doing that much. Nothing that he can say or do will ever justify what happened there because it can’t. He is guilty of murder just like everyone else that participated in the massacre, to include his Commanders who were hovering in helicopters watching what was going on. They will have to live with that for the rest of their lives as they have for the last 30+ years.

I would like to put this out as a side note to this article: When Abu Ghraib happened, there was the same (though less) national and international outrage. From that investigation everyone from the Commander of the Prison itself (BG Karpinski) to the Battalion Commander (LTC Jordan) was relieved of command and well investigated for parts in the scandal, not to mention the charges on a slew of other personnel from that unit who were convicted of countless crimes. I do not believe that this kind of response would have been possible if the example of My Lai was not so prevalent in the military mindset.

Before both of my deployments we have had training classes for EVERY soldier about ROE, the Geneva Convention and Ethics in Combat. These were taught by the commanders and officers of the unit and it was made extremely clear to all of the soldiers that My Lai was not acceptable and nothing like it will ever be acceptable. My Lai changed the Army and the world for the better, and it is because of My Lai that most of our soldiers are better educated and more ethical now than they have ever been before.

It was a horrible time for our country and it’s armed forces, no one can say otherwise. Many horrible things happened to our troops over there and a lot of them are still dealing with it, but just the same as if someone had done something like My Lai today, it is WRONG and there is no excuse for it.

Just my $.02


Go to the National Infantry Museum at Least Once by Yourself

August 5, 2009


The National Infantry Museum is surpassing number of visitors expectations.   Since the museum opened in June,  80, 322 people have visited the facility, according to Sonya Bell, Administration Services Manager,  National Infantry Foundation.  I’ve been three times. Wonder if they counted me every time. 

Huey Helicopter,  Vietnam war exhibit, National Infantry Museum, Columbus, GA

Huey Helicopter, Last Hundred Yards Vietnam War exhibit, National Infantry Museum, Columbus, GA

Even though I have been, as I said, three times, I plan to go a few more.  One day’s visit is just not enough to take it all it.  The first time you go through you get an overall impression,  but it really doesn’t sink in until you go through it again.  For one thing, the first time you don’t stop and read all of the information that is offered,  and, like a good movie – and the place is loaded with interesting combat newsreel footage –   you miss a lot detail.  One of the reasons you don’t stop and read everything is, when you are going through with other people. you tend to do it faster.  Nobody wants to hold the rest of the group back.  So, even though it’s enjoyable to do it with others,  I recommend that you also do it by yourself.

It really is a tremendous history lesson for everyone, but  you do have to take your time to let it soak him.   As I said,  I’ll be going back.

General White Leads Victory Coaltion’s Fight to Improve The Image of South Columbus

July 28, 2008

  When people come to the Columbus area to visit the National Infantry Museum, Major General (Ret.) Jerry White doesn’t want them leaving with a bad impression. That’s why he is working hard for the Victory Coalition.


Maj. Gen. (Ret.) Jerry White

Maj. Gen. (Ret.) Jerry White



  He has been instrumental in forming the group of business leaders in South Columbus who are working to improve the reputation of that part of town. They want to put an end to its reputation as a crime infested haven for drugs and prostitution.


  I recounted to him a conversation I had with a young Army wife about why she and her Airborne School husband didn’t live in South Columbus. “Just think of the gas money you could save by living close to the post.”


  “Well, we looked it over. When saw the conditions of some of the neighborhoods with things like cars sitting on blocks in the front yards, we decided we didn’t want to live there.”


  “It doesn’t have to be that way, Dick,” General White told me. “We have to get the city to enforce the laws on things like that in the same way it does in other parts of town. We have to have a greater police presence in South Columbus in order for people to feel it’s a safe place. It wasn’t always like this.”


  I told him that I could remember when it wasn’t like that, when a lot of people from all over Columbus went to South Columbus to go to the nice restaurants like the Coco Super Club. “And,” he added to my list, “the Villa Nova and Black Angus. Black Angus was my favorite,” he said. “A lot of people just don’t understand. They don’t even know why Victory Drive is called Victory Drive, that it’s named that in honor of the great victory that ended World War Two.”


  General White is getting some solid backing in his quest to improve the area. His good friend Sam Friedman recently opened the new Suburban Extended Stay Hotel on Victory Drive.  Columbus’ only USO is located there. The United Service Organization came into being during World War Two to help soldiers away from home fight loneliness with things like dances, ping pong, basketball, and movies. Columbus had a big one on 9th Street  for white soldiers and a smaller one for African American soldiers. Jim Crow was alive and well then. They were packed during the war, but Columbus had been without one for years.


Suburban Extended Stay Hotel

Suburban Extended Stay Hotel



  The hotel, which boasts an impressive pool and patio area for outdoor barbeques, has a military theme, including a General’s Suite, and a model of the new National Infantry Museum in the lobby.


Suburban Extended Stay Hotel Patio and Pool Area

Suburban Extended Stay Hotel Patio and Pool Area



  Two more hotels will open soon, a new Holiday Inn Express and a Candlewood, and a fourth hotel is in the works that will locate on the National Infantry Museum site.


  “We are talking major change,” General White said. We are going to have 500,000 people coming into this area to visit the Infantry Museum. This is going to mean, in addition to the new hotels, restaurants,  4 to 5 hundred jobs. We are working with an already formed group of business leaders called Columbus South in calling on business people in the area to clean up their places, to become a part of the Victory Coalition and change the reputation of South Columbus.”